Find out about: housing for migrants
Migrants with enough resources to pay for private housing are entitled to live wherever they choose in the UK. However, entitlement to housing assistance depends on immigration status.
Housing for asylum seekers
Most asylum seekers are destitute upon arrival in the UK, and are entitled to housing while their asylum claim is processed. This housing is separate from mainstream social housing provision and is provided through the Home Office.
An asylum seeker will usually be relocated to accommodation wherever it is available across the UK - this is known as 'dispersal'. They will be in 'Initial Accommodation' for the first few weeks - this is known as Section 98 accommodation.
After this, housing will usually be provided in the same region until a final decision is made on their asylum claim - this is known as Section 95 accommodation.
During 2012, arrangements for asylum housing are changing - although asylum seekers will continue to be housed across the UK. These changes are happening because Home Office subcontracts to provide asylum accommodation with housing providers under the 'Target Accommodation Contract' are ending. New contracts under the COMPASS [Commercial and Operational Managers Procuring Asylum Support Services] project began earlier this year. The main change is that there will no longer be any asylum housing provided by local authorities; it will now be provided wholly by 3 private sector companies.
If an asylum seeker is allocated Section 95 housing by the Home Office in the Yorkshire and Humber region, it will now be provided by G4S Care and Justice Services [UK] Ltd
However, some asylum seekers who were originally placed in housing under the Target Accommodation Contract are still in the process of being moved to housing under the COMPASS project.
People who receive a positive asylum decision are classed as refugees and are no longer entitled to Home Office support [see 'Housing for refugees' below].
If an asylum seeker receives a negative asylum decision [a ‘
refused asylum seeker’], they are expected to leave the UK. They may leave the UK by making their own arrangements, through the
Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme [VARRP], or be removed by UKBA. A refused asylum seeker may be entitled to limited, short term support known as Section 4 if they meet certain criteria. Section 4 accommodation is also allocated according to availability, so it may not be in the same place where the individual was housed while their asylum claim was being processed.
Housing for asylum seekers must always meet Home Office standards.
Housing for refugees
An individual who receives a positive asylum decision and has refugee status is required to leave the accommodation they were allocated as an asylum seeker. Refugees have the same housing rights as UK citizens. A refugee who is homeless is entitled to apply for social housing from the local authority in which they received accommodation as an asylum seeker [this is known as their ‘local connection’ within homelessness legislation]. However, like anyone in the UK who presents themselves to a local authority as homeless, they must fulfil certain criteria to be prioritised for social housing; this may include, for example, those with children or those who have additional needs.
Housing for migrant workers
Migrant workers tend to rent accommodation in the private sector. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many migrant workers will occupy cheaper, private rented housing in Yorkshire and the Humber. Migrant workers have different rights to social housing according to their immigration status. The Housing rights website gives information on housing rights for different types of new migrants.
People with No Recourse to Public Funds [NRPF]
Local authorities can advise destitute people from abroad who have no entitlement to welfare or Home Office support. In a minority of cases, they may provide support which can include housing. The national NRPF network looks at the statutory response to people with NRPF - this is hosted by Islington Council. Yorkshire and Humber also has a regional network to address NRPF issues.
More detailed information
- You can look up summaries of local research studies about housing needs and housing patterns of migrants on our migration research database Yorkshire and Humber.
- A review of literature in Yorkshire and Humber has drawn together the key research findings about housing for asylum seekers, refugees and new migrants [see sections 3.2 and 4.2]. Find the review at Refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Yorkshire and Humber, 1999-2008 [link to external website]
- The Yorkshire and Humber Regional Integration Strategy for Refugees and Asylum Seeker [2009-2011] makes recommendations around housing for asylum seekers and refugees.
Page last updated: 26/04/2013 09:02:46
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